A collection of 50 silhouettes will hold silent vigil on the West Virginia University campus next week, their quiet presence eloquently speaking for those who cannot speak for themselves.

TheSilent Witnessexhibit opens at 7 p.m. Monday, Oct. 10, at Erickson Alumni Center on WVU ’s Evansdale Campus, and is intended to draw attention, in a stark, unflinching way to the tragedy of domestic violence.

Each of the life-sized silhouettes represents a woman, man or child murdered by a family member or partner in West Virginia between 1999 and 2001.

The program also includes discussions from experts, live music and more to bring home the fear, pain and loss felt by the families each of those 50 silhouettes represent.

After the evening at Erickson, the exhibit will move to the Vandalia Lounge of the Mountainlair, where it will remain on display Oct. 11-14.

This is an important effort to remember those who have been victims of domestic violence, raise awareness about the extent of domestic violence, and provide information and resources to those who need to end the cycle of violence in their lives,said Mary Ellen Mazey, Dean of the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences at WVU .

While the evening is free to the public, licensed social workers attending from West Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania may pay a $20 registration fee at the door to earn continuing education credit hours through the Division of Social Work in WVU s School of Applied Social Sciences.

Social workers may contact Charlotte Whipkey at Charlotte.Whipkey@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-3501 for more information on the education credits.

Members of the Minnesota Arts Action Against Domestic Violence and the Minnesota Women’s Consortium developed the first Silent Witness exhibit in 1990. By 1997, all 50 states were holding Silent Witness events.

WVU ’s event is sponsored by The School of Applied Social Sciences in the Eberly College of Arts and Sciences, the WVU Women’s Studies Program, the Junior League of Fairmont and WVU s National Center for Excellence in Women’s Health.

For general information on the WVU exhibit, contact Leslie Tower in the Division of Social Work, letower@mail.wvu.edu or 304-293-3501, ext. 3126; or Jim Nolan, Division of Sociology and Anthropology, jnolan2@wvu.edu or 304-293-5801 ext. 3210.